It´s been five minutes since i finished the Xbox 360-demo of Mini Ninjas. Positively surprised i thought to go read on some boards to see what people think about the game, and…hate all over the place. I´m shocked how big the negative reactions towards this game is. The game has many flaws, mainly the shitty combat-gameplay and the collecthacon-stuff, which is why i won´t buy the game right now. But just because a game doesn´t justify a full price tag doesn´t mean you cannot appreciate the things it does right. And damn, Mini Ninjas does quite a few things that i´d love to see in a Zelda-game.
For example, the seamless interaction with the environment and the reaction you get from enemies. Just duck in high grass and enemies won´t spot you. You can sneak by them. You can also make fun of them by sneaking up the very limit of where grass goes over to the path way, and cross said path quickly, only to hide on the other side again. What´s great, and something that Assasin´s Creed could learn a lesson, is how you can still hide yourself even after being spotted. Just run away a bit, duck and slowly sneak away from where the enemy saw you last. No “find a special hideout” stuff, just seamless interaction.
There´s also the great looking visuals of the environment, really creating a feeling of immersion. Well crafted hills and path ways, featuring atmospheric bambus-alleys put you in the game. Not the mention how fantastic it feels to go downwards, then reach the gorgeous river and quickly jump into your boat-hat to drive on said river. You can even use a fishing rod, haha.
It´s unfortunate that the game suffers from usual movie-license games´ illnesses, like sucky combat, collecting tons of annoying stuff and subpar character-design. But there´s no doubt that the developers of Mini Ninja have put some good thoughts into the game, and once it reaches a lower price it could turn into a must-have title.